Infrequently Noted

Alex Russell on browsers, standards, and the process of progress.

A Mind Changed

I've been away a long time. Sorry all.

So I've come to a new conclusion: I don't give a crap about XML. Really, I don't. All I want to do is get my work done, and as often as not these days I'm finding that XML is just getting in my way. Let me step back and explain a bit.

Part of my contractual obligations with the people funding my current work on netWindows is the production of comprehensive documentation. This is a Good Thing. My choosen method for the documentation is a mildly clever melding of DocBook and JavaScript. While DocBook has a reasonable vocabulary for doing almost everything I need (and tools aplenty for getting from here to there), I find myself defining a slew of entities simply to cut down on the ammount of repetative, easily fungable stuff I have to retype. XML lets me do this without too much trouble, but the fact that I have to think about it in the first place and/or that it requires me to do something for the computer, bugs the hell out of me.

XML is a nice tool for some things, but overall I guess I've been recently reinforcing my feeling that it's being over-used, wrongly prescribed as the answer for everything from config files to word processing, and in general missunderstood. XML fails every time it's exposed to a user directly. It doesn't do enough for us. We need something better (or better tools around what we've already got).